Brat Packer vs. Rat Pack. Who ya got?

One is a new memoir, the other is a new historical novel, both published on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.

“Brat: An ’80s Story” is the memoir by actor Andrew McCarthy and “The Devil May Dance” is the second novel by Jake Tapper, lead Washington anchor for CNN.

McCarthy was a member of The Brat Pack many years ago and his 1980s films include “Class,” “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Mannequin,” “Less Than Zero” and “Weekend at Bernie’s.” The films epitomized 1980s cool because those kids in the movies were cool.

New York Magazine came up with the name The Brat Pack in a 1985 story and the other members were Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy.

Oh, those were the days, boys and girls. Where are they now?


I got that issue the week it came out and it was in our old garage for many years before a rat pack chewed it up. The issue deserved a kind fate.

The Brat Pack was a play on the words The Rat Pack, the 1960s group of friends: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. “Ocean’s 11” and “Sergeants 3” were among Rat Pack films. My brother, Mike, and I saw them with our parents at movie theaters in Biloxi, Miss. The films epitomized 1960s cool before the US arrival of The Beatles in 1964.

“The Devil May Dance” is in the mystery, suspense and thriller genres and The Rat Pack plays a prominent role in Tapper’s historical novel. Sinatra is at the center of a Kennedy administration investigation into Hollywood corruption. Charlie and Margaret Marder, a fictional couple, are working on the orders of Attorney General Robert Kennedy, brother of President John F. Kennedy.

I hate writing a book synopsis because it reminds me of high school more than 50 years ago. I lifted the one above from a Goodreads review and I always wonder why reviewers submit a synopsis. All pretty much sound the same. How about coming up with something original?

I will spare you my Andrew McCarthy synopsis. I am lazy and I want to finally get right to the point of this article.

It is an intriguing matchup I created: Brat Packer vs. Rat Pack. Who ya got?

I will clarify the question: Which would you prefer to read first? “Brat” or “The Devil May Dance”?

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